As vaccination rates decline, US officials report that hospital admissions for influenza have risen to their highest level in a decade. In comparison to the same period last year, they said that adults had received five million fewer influenza vaccinations this year.
As per BBC, health professionals are concerned that this winter, hospitals could be overrun by a so-called tripledemic of the flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and coronavirus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 730 people have passed away from the flu this year (CDC).
At least four youngsters are among the fatalities, even though older adults are the age group most at risk. According to CDC estimates, there have been at least 1.6 million flu cases worldwide and 13,000 hospitalizations.
Since the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic, this season’s intensity at this stage in the year has not been matched. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) associate secretary for preparedness and response, Dawn O’Connell, stated at a media conference on Friday, “There’s no doubt we will encounter some problems this winter.”
The US flu season generally peaks in December and January, but this year it started early and spread quickly. According to health officials, the coronavirus pandemic has significantly slowed the transmission of respiratory diseases like the flu.
The officials warned that although many young children are now coming into contact with them for the first time, they may have little to no immunity. The proliferation of various Omicron subvariants has contributed to an increase in Covid hospital admissions, which has exacerbated the early start of flu season.
Additionally, it has occurred at the same time as a nationwide increase in RSV, a cold-like infection that is thought to kill more than 14,000 Americans each year, largely the elderly.